tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN August 29, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
hello again everyone, and welcome to cnn special coverage of hurricane isaac, hurricane isaac moving slower than experts had predicted a lot slower. in fact, it's barely moving and that is bringing problems, the latest information shows for hours this hurricane has simply hovered. after making landfall on tuesday night in southeast louisiana, the 350 mile wide storm has pelted louisiana, mississippi and alabama with rain. folks in these areas are hunkering down and are expected to be told to stay in doors for a couple of days. 200,000 will be without power until the storm passes. because it's moving so slowly it could dump up to 20 inches of rain in some areas. let's go straight to cnn's brian todd, he has been out and about for us on the streets of new
orleans, and feeling the brunt of this rain that we keep talking about that's going to be well, keeping people socked in for quite some time, brian? >> reporter: that's right, a lot of heavy rain now, we had had an intense squall coming down through toward our camera. a lot of flying debris coming this way. there's a heavy police presence. we have not talked about it too much this morning but i want to stress that, of course with the experience of hurricane katrina, they did not want anything close to that to be repeated so they have a strong police presence here. you talked about power outages, that figure from louisiana is now more than 300,000 without power. and from we are hearing now from the officials of louisiana, there's street flooding in at least 12 intersections in
louisiana. i don't know if you can count this with you as one of them, but we are getting close. check out the ponding over here, and flying debris is everywhere. the squall is coming from this direction now. it is changing directions on us, knocking me over a bit, that is one of the challenges of being out here. the wind keeps changing the direction, the rain keeping changing in intensity. it's intense now, as you can see, let's get back to the street flooding. it is isolated flooding, we cannot say it's isolated flooding. but with rainfall this intense, natalie, there will be isolated street flooding, they said there would be, so it's not unexpected but as you can see here in front of me, with the flooding and debris over here, it's a big factor and we are now getting reports of downed power lines and downed trees in more areas of the city. >> well, that was quite a squall we just saw hit you there as you
were talking. >> reporter: it was. >> and how many of those have you been enduring and how many hours have you been out there now? >> we have been out here for three hours natalie. i endured several of them. i think i endured the second one in the live shot. here is another one. it's the nature of it. the intensity keeps changes and the direction of the wind keeps changing and the winds turn counter clockwise. it's an intense feeling but you do get used to it after a while. >> well, we appreciate your efforts and that of your crew and we know you are soaking wet as well, all right, brian todd, brian, as always, thank you and we will see you again, unfortunately, but we will check in with you again and again, brian reporting that street flooding now. he is hearing reports of that at least 12 intersections flooded. that is just what we know about.
let's give brian a break and move to john. he is 100 miles away in gulf port mississippi. he is geth hit from squalls there in new orleans, john, how is it for you? >> well, our squalls are not as intense as what we are experiencing in new orleans. being as far away from the center of circulation as we are. but we have been talking, natalie, every hour that this has been relentless, what we are getting, tropical storm forces and sustained winds, relentless since before midnight. longer than three hours, you can see the rain coming in heavy, heavy drops. and they are big heavy drops. so, a lot of this accumulation of rainfall, we drove around this afternoon, before all this began and there were areas low
lying areas where just from the high tide coming in with the storm off shore, some low lying areas were already starting to show some flooding. so, imagine what it will be like once you add on top of that, all of this rain probably 20 plus inches of rainfall. and high tide coming in a few hours from now. you can really see now, take a look up there. peter is going pan over. really intense. these are the kind of, this is what we have been seeing now on and off. but for the most part, steady. just that driving wind driven rain. for more than three hours and with the storm now stationary, this is not going to let up any time soon. we understand that up the road a piece from us, they have power outages, a few that they are reporting about 400, but you know these numbers are going to go up over the course of the day
today as the teams try to get out to figure out what kind of damage they have got. but it will be awful difficult for them to get out with this kind of weather now. you can really see the drenching rain that we are getting right now. and just as i say it, it lets up a little bit. that is what we have been internsin in-- that is what we been experiencing. >> what are the officials saying about the people getting out in the daylight when it could still be raining and there could still be flash flooding tomorrow morning? >> it's a big issue when people go outside the eye of the storm, because they think it's passed and then they get hit with the back side of the hurricane. the same issues you have with all of this tomorrow, when the sun light comes up, you are on the strong side of the storm, but you are getting tropical
storm force winds. you go out, weakened tree branches and limbs fall, people can get injured if not worse. they are driving through deep water. one of the worst things that happens in these storms and more people are killed from inland flooding than anything else in a hurricane. is you drive through water. you don't realize how deep it is and the next thing you know, you are floating away. that is why they tell you stay at home, do not go through any kind of water that you know is going to be deep or you don't know how deep it is. stay out of it. that is a problem. it's going to be a problem. and in fact, they have a lot of water rescue units in mississippi ready to go to get people out from low lying areas if necessary. but again, you can see, more than 3 hours of this natalie and it will be like this for hours to come. >> unbelievable. thank you so much, john in gulf port. and we will be back to john.
let's go to meteorologist container mcguinnis who is watching isaac's track. feel so guilty watching john and our team out there and brian standing in the rain, but it illustrates how much rain this area is getting. >> and natalie, there are a couple of things, i was looking where brian todd is located and we will zoom in and show you what is going on. these bands that come in have little embeded cells, he is within ten minutes of the next heavy band moving on shore. this is going to be continuous for hours. you might see some of it let off a bit, and then we will see another stronger band move through. the other thing i wanted to mention, that has not been reported yet. we have confirmed out of chalumette and that is east of new orleans, a barge was broken
loose, there was 61, 62 miles an hour winds reported there. the barge broke loose it hit three passenger boats. one was a 47-foot boat. a crew boat. there were no people on the boats. no injuries. but of the three boats one of them sink. but we have no reports of any injuries. but this is the kind of thing with relentless wind and the rain rising the surge moving in that we will be seeing as we go through the next 24 hours. we will just kind of move around and show you some of the things going on. grand isle, that is where john is, it's kind of in a lull right now. and it looks as if hurricane isaac is stationary, now that will not last forever. but it could last for quite some time, so hurricane isaac picks up the moisture from the gulf, and swirls it around in the orange and yellow shaded areas
that is where we get the embedded rainfall, it's heavy, but then you see a particularly strong cell that moves through. the other aspect of this is there's a tornado watch until 9:00 a.m., tornadoes a part of the squalls that move on shore. but the fact that hurricane isaac is stationary now, that's the big news, because we have talked about several feet of rainfall for louisiana. >> all right, karen, thank you, and we will be back with you, for the latest on isaac's forecast track, go to cnn.com/hurricane, coming up we will talk about someone who is riding out the storm pretty much where the storm is centers, houme louisiana, we will be right back with that. great shot.
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its wake, as i bring you the latest this is the live picture of golf port, mississippi, the wind and rain bearing down right now, it is pelting the coast line with heavy rain and a lot of wind as well, 60 miles an hour from the storms center and wind gusts as heavy at 80 miles an hour, and more than 300,000 homes without power. because the storm is moving so slowly, the system could dump up to 20 inches of rain in some areas. so people will be socked in for some time. we will keep tracking this hurricane, bringing you updates on where it is and what damage it's leaving behind. not even the -- we appreciate you joining us and we know that
it appears this hurricane is kind of sitting on top of terrebonne parish where you are, what have you been experiencing and what are the conditions? >> well, it's been windy and rainy all day. obviously. but we have been on, you know, the west side of it, so, the most of the wind has all been from the north. which is a good thing, because that is not the tidal surge side, and we cannot handle that kind of tidal surge on this side of the river. it's been windy all night, and we have been without power for the last 3-1/2 and 4 hours. >> you lost a home in katrina, and certainly this was not katrina level storm. it's bringing a lot of rain, why did you decide not to evacuate? >> well, you know, eevacuation
is not an thing to do, you know? you know, and i think you'll see, as time goes on, that you know, more people, with a category 1 or 2 is going to stay around. it's not only hard to get out and take all the things that are not replaceable, but it takes such a long time to get back and i have heard, you know, for a long time, people going, well i'm just not going to leave, because, you know, if a door busts down on the house, people can just walk in and loot it. you know? but you know, we did not have a mandatory evacuation for this area because of the track and the way it looked like and how strong it looked like it would be. you know, if it hangs around and stays stationary for a while and moves west, if that's the worst case scenario for us here. >> you are in a low lying area,
and we want to point out that you are famous for your conservation activism and certainly working for the past ten years to bring attention to the disappearing wetlands there in your area. and we have been hearing a lot throughout our hurricane coverage of the, you know, refurbished levees and new storm walls along the mississippi gulf coast, yet all the while, the wetlands continue to disappear in your region, why is that and what is the threat as they continue to disappear? >> well, you know, i think that is -- because people talk about the levees being built and control structures and sea walls being built, you know, around new orleans they think that well, everybody around here must be okay. but you know, here in terrebonne parish, we do not have sea walls and hurricane protection levees and you know we have lost so
much of our wetlands due to the changing of the mississippi river. the river built this area, in the sediment and the silt and things from the river built the land here, and the river has been diverted away from the delta, so the gulf is reclaiming the land that the river built. and in my lifetime, which is 40 years or so, the gulf is now 20 miles closer to downtown houma than it was when i was a kid. so, if you look at the stats on that, every three miles of wetlands knocks a tidal surge down one foot. so, you are looking at seven feet of tidal surge that could be handled by this area before we have lost all of this land, and that is why it's so significant. you know, it's kind of a shame that we have to wait for a storm like this, before everyone will
listen to us talking about the importance of preserving and rebuilding the coast of louisiana. >> right, because the wetlands are certainly a defense, as you say, against hurricanes and storms. i know you are a pilot and that is how you realized how quick the land was disappearing. help us appreciate how fast it's going o way. >> yeah, that is where i first saw it. you know, i was flying pipeline patrol for oil companies and flying the coast on a weekly basis. you know, the whole coast of louisiana, and the whole delta of mississippi and you know, from the air, i could see land disappearing. i tried to get people to talk about it, but it was very difficult, you know, to get people to understand it was going to be a problem, and an issue in our lifetime, people did not think it would happen that fast. but the more land you lose, the faster you lose it. so, this erosion has been
speeding up, and you know, right now, you know, we are losing about an acre every hour. that's an acre an hour, not an acre a day. and you know, that is 24 acres every day. and it's over 35 square miles a year. it's a ridiculous amount of land that is watching out to the gulf every year. so, i was always trying to get ahead of the game and try to get -- try to get a decision made, are we going to fix it or are we going to move? because we have been sitting in neutral for such a long time, and you know, still have not really heard a big decision being made about that. so we keep fighting it and keep trying to figure out what we will do here, but something has to be done soon, and every time we have a storm it opens that door up, so that it's one of the positives of a scenario like this. you know. well, we appreciate you joining us and staying up with us, we know it will be a long night for
you, and we appreciate your efforts with trying to preserve the wetlands, we know that you sing songs about it as well. todd benoit thank you so much. for the latest on the forecast track, go to cnn.com/hurricane, we are covering it from cnn center online and of course, our live picture, one like are seeing here in new orleans, you can see the rain coming down, we will continue to push on here and bring you all the latest, keep it right there.
the southeast coast of louisiana, the 350 mile wide storm, yes, 350 miles wide, has been pelting louisiana, mississippi and alabama for hours with relentless rain. folks are hunkering down and are being told to expect to stay in doors for at least a couple of days. right now, more than 300,000 are without power because the storm is moving so slowly. some areas could see up to 20 inches of rain and with that comes the threat of course of flooding and storm surge, we have had reports of streets flooding in new orleans, we will continue to watch the storm and bring you all the updates and the latest on the storm. well, before pounding louisiana, isaac played havoc with the
republican national convention. ann romney, mitt romney's wife addressed the convention, the couple married 35 years ago and had five sons are now have 18 grandchildren. tonight it was up to her to preveal the personal side of the man who may become the next president of the united states. here are highlights of ann romney's speech. >> i want to talk to you tonight, not about politics, and not about party, and while there are many important issues we will hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight i want to talk to you from my heart. about our hearts, tonight i want to talk to you about love. i want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love i have for
a man i met at a dance many years ago. i'm not sure if men really understand this, but i don't think there's a woman in america who really expects her life to be easy. in our own ways we all know better. you know what? and that's fine, we do not want easy. but the last few years have been harder than they needed to be. it's all the little things, the price at the pump you cannot believe, the food bills that get bigger, all the things that were free, school sports are now one more bill to pay, it's the little things that pile up to be big things, the good things, the chance of a good job and college and the home to buy, everything has become harder. we are too smart to know there are not easy answers but we are not dumb enough to accept that there are not better answers. [ applause ] and that is where this boy i met at a high school dance comes in, his name the mitt romney and you
should really get to know him. mitt's dad never graduated from college, instead he was a carpenter, he worked hard, he became the head of a car company and then the governor of michigan. we were determined to not let anything stand in the way of our life together. he was a mormon and he was not, there were many reasons to delay marriage and you know what? we just didn't care. we got married and moved interest a -- and moved in together ato a basement apartment. all of a sudden, i'm married with a baby and a husband who is in college. like every other girl who finds herself in a new life with a new baby and a new husband, that it
dawned on me that i had no idea what i was getting into. well, that was 42 years ago. i have survived. we now have five sons and 18 beautiful grandchildren. i'm still in love with that boy i met at a high school dance and he still makes me laugh. i read somewhere that mitt and i have a storybook marriage. well, let me tell you something, in the storybooks i read, there were never long, long rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once and those storybooks never seem to have chapters called ms or breast cancer, a storybook marriage? nope, not at all. what mitt romney and i have is a
real marriage. it's true -- it's true that mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. you know what it amazes me to see his history of success being attacked. are those really the values that made our country great? >> no. >> as a mom of five boys do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success? >> no. >> do we send our children out in the world with the advice, try to do okay? >> no. >> and let's be honest, if the last four years have been more successful, do we think there would be this attack on mitt romney's success? >> no. >> of course not. >> mitt would be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world, he had two great parents who taught him the value of work. he had the chance to get the education that his father never had. but as his partner on this amazing journey, i can he will tell you that mitt romney was
not handed success. he built it. [ applause ] >> this is the man america needs. this is the man who will wake up every day, with a determination to solve the problems that others say cannot be solve. to fix what others say is beyond repair, this is the man that will work harder than anyone so we can work a little less hard. i can't tell you what will happen over the next four years but i can stand here tonight as a wife, a mother and a grandmother and an american and make you this commitment, this man will not fail. [ applause ] >> ann romney's moment to talk about her husband, mitt romney. the prime time coverage of the national convention continues
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>> and welcome back to our special coverage of hurricane isaac, i'm natalie allen, we have these live pictures for you of new orleans, that's bourbon street on the left, and superdome on the right. of course, seven years ago, the imagines of these two areas would emerge differently when katrina came to shore, and this is the anniversary of that when we are seeing hurricane isaac, here is the latest. much of the central gulf coast is feeling this slow moving storm right now on the anniversary of katrina, isaac hovering near the coast of
southeast louisiana, more than 300,000 people we are told are without power right now. you can still see some lights on there in new orleans. storm surge and flooding is also expected and as you can imagine, all eyes are on new orleans's levy system that was rebuilt and re-enforced to the tune of billions of dollars after it failed when katrina hit in 2005. let's go to our reporters who are out and about weathering the storm, one of them brian todd in new orleans, i'm always scared to look, brian, and see what you are having to endure when we come to you. hello. >> hello, natalie, yeah, we are enduring very intense bursts of wind and rain, maybe the most we have had all morning and that's saying something, because we have got through a lot of it today, the gusts coming from this direction, we have to watch out for flying debris, that's a particular danger, especially in the time of morning when you
cannot see as well, a lot of debris coming from the jackson square park area. we will take you over to see some of it. a lot of flying debris, we have reports over 25 intersections are reporting downed trees and in some of those intersections downed power lines came with the downed trees. there's a ton of debris in the street, that's a particular danger right now, power outages we can tell you about, you mentioned more than 300,000 without power, we got word that about 111,000 just in orleans parish alone are without power, that is probably a third of the entire state of louisiana without power existing right here in new orleans. this section of our street, lost power just a short time ago, came back on its own. so some of the residents may be getting it back, just kind of organically almost before the
power crews can get out. we can tell you also that street flooding is a particular concern, more than a dozen intersections in new orleans are reported flooded. i got word from a city official they have got more than a dozen intersections flooded. getting another squall here natalie, but this is the danger here, we see some of the flooding on this street, and this is fairly minor compared to what a lot of the streets are going through. it does not mean that the pumping systems, and the pumping stations are not working. according to city and state officials, they are working but when rain is this intense, even the pumping stations, they cannot pump out all the flood waters. this was expected, the levees and pumping stations are holding. but there's now isolated flooding on the streets of new orleans and you can see, intense weather sweeping through right now. >> absolutely, if i can keep you for another minute, have they told people there in new orleans
to stay off the roads, you know, many people want to get out at daylight and see what the storm has brought, have they instructed people to stay in and not take any chances? >> well, they certainly have, they are telling people to not go out on the roads, and especially in the areas where we mentioned the more than 12 intersections are flooded. they say a lot of the roads now are not passable and they are shutting down bridges, we got word that there were several bridges in the area shutting down, because the off ramps are flooded and possibly for just wind consideration and things like that. again, these are temporary continues, not unexpected, the storm is a slow mover. it's hanging over the area as they expected and they are just dealing with it. but the conditions are getting more severe right now. >> we can certainly tell, all right, thanks so much, we appreciate it, brian todd for us, out in it. thank you, brian. all right, now to gulf port, mississippi we take you let's
check in with john, 100 miles away, but looks like you are getting more intense wind withes as well, john. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely, which is why i have this hood on right now, because i would not be able to hear you if i didn't cover up right now with this intense wind that we are getting. yeah, we still have tropical storm force winds. not hurricane force winds. once you are getting in those categories i'm not standing up right. we figure winds have been gusting now for 65 miles an hour or more in here. but still, short of hurricane force. and you know, natalie, we have been talking about this now, what? since about midnight, maybe a bit before midnight that we have been experiencing these kinds of conditions here. and you know, important to stress to the viewers that we are 100 miles to the east of the center of the circulation of
this storm, so, just the massive reach of hurricane isaac that, it's just amazing how far out you can get, this kind of strong, strong wind. but you know, at one point, the hurricane center was saying that tropical storm force winds extended out 200 miles from the center. so, you know, we are only 100 miles away. take a look, up now, you can see up there. >> all right, well, we lost john. it's been amazing we have been on the air for three hours that's the first time we have lost one of the live reports, just to tell you how hard our crews are working and to keep our crews live for us. we will try to reestablish contact with john as we push on, let's get the latest now on what the storm is doing, where it's sitting and where it's heading, karen mcguinnis is at the weather center for us. and karen, you to feel for our
guys, in the past hour they are getting hit more with more interns winds and rain. >> natalie, you said something interesting about where it's sitting. because it's sitting. it's stationary, it's not moving like we were seeing it 12 or 24 hours ago, even though it moved swiftly at first, and started to slow down, and now it's stationary, the national hurricane center putting the winds at 80 miles an hour. but here is an interesting development, we are watching this western edge and it is falling apart. it does not look very impressive on this satellite imagery, nor does it look impressive as we take a look at kind of a different perspective, here is the rainfall and still, this western edge not looking very impressive. so, we have with really got this southern and eastern edge that is still bringing in, an amazing amount of moisture, still a
category 1 hurricane, but the embedded cells that can spin up the tornadoes, they do not last very long, still can be deadly and very damaging, but that is just all part and parcel of what happens with these hurricanes. let's get back to this particular one. as i mentioned, the important aspect of this is that it is stationary right now. here is a different perspective, there's still a tornado watch which is in effect right across the new orleans area and extends over to mississippi and parts of alabama, here is a particular cell that i was talking to you about, that can spin out the potential for tornado, we did briefly see a tornado warning down here, right around this mobile bay area. but, all in all, the rain has been the big factor. and they are saying, right now, that there was a storm surge at
shell beach. now that is on lake borgne, and they were looking at low tide, but we are looking at high tide, but several feet of rainfall, because this is not moving, it lingers here, and they are just throwing more and more water across this region, at last report, natalie, we had 325,000 plus people in louisiana alone without power. that does not include mississippi, alabama and other areas. >> more to cop, a l-- more to c lot of people having a tough night. we are back with much more. [ gnome ] enjoying your holiday?
and welcome back to our live coverage, i'm natalie allen, you are looking at live pictures of hurricane isaac and the latest news has stunned even the experts that is the french quarter on your left and the superdome on your right, well, what we mean by stuns the experts it is it has stalled. it is hovering over new orleans and the gulf unleashing fierce 80 miles an hour winds. isaac knocked out power to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the gulf and this hurricane brought with it a dangerous storm surge bringing whitewash as high as 11 feet along the coast. it is now just slightly west of where it was two hours ago. it's not going anywhere fast. one of our men on the ground and during bands of pelting rain and intense wind gusts from the front lines, is ed, taking a beating to bring us the latest. >> this is one of the initial bands of rain that we have seen,
we saw one an hour ago and it has come through a couple of times. the winds are starting to pick up, but so far everything looking good on grand isle, but the conditions will start to erode quickly. well there's no question, we are starting to see the strongest effects of hurricane isaac that we have experienced all day. if this storm has just started here in grand isle and the intensity of this will continue to increase, we have seen a dramatic, excuse me. the wind speed increased dramatically in the last few minutes and the gusts have intensified as well. we know there are reports of downed power lines throughout the island, many of the roads are starting to be impassable as the water washes over the roads. we are getting another one of the bands and squalls that are pushing through again and intensify the situation here if grand isle, we are struggling to
bring you the shot over the last few minutes. this is definitely one of the most intense parts of the tomorrow we have experienced all day. and the gulf of mexico is off to the right in the darkness, that is what makes it a lot more upsetting. it's impossible to hear the extent of anything that might be flying around, it's a bit frightening when you stand in the lights you cannot see beyond the lights. we are holding up as best as we can in grand isle, the winds, i think we were talking earlier, the loudness of the winds is hard to describe. >> our reporters continuing to take a beating to bring you the story and we will have more, thanks for watching, i'm natalie allen, our special coverage will continue, early start begins right after a quick break. ordinary rubs don't always work on my arthritis.